Ahead of his short debate on voting systems in the House of Lords on Monday 11th January 2009, independent peer Lord Alton warns that electoral reform based on cynical and belated attempts to sustain the hegemony of politicians will not suffice. Change has to be deep rooted to be sustainable. He also compares the STV and AV voting systems.
In these final days of the year, Christians who follow the church calendar remember that children were massacred by Herod 2000 years ago, says Gene Stoltzfus. The story has much to teach us about the inherent conflict between the Gospel and empire.
Post mortems about the Copenhagen Conference are well underway and there is much gloom, says Colin Morris. But there is also work to build on, and religious sensibility can play a key role in aiding real progress on climate change.
Christmas is actually much more about the real world than it is about a lovely story of far off places in far off times, says David Gamble. It demands faithful action for justice from us, not religious evasions.
How does biblical thought relate to climate change? What are the theological insights churches can offer to a world facing an unprecedented ecological crisis? Juan Michel describes some answers from a recent global seminar.
Revivals, awakenings, ethnic shifts, mobility, and religious marketplaces have always invited drifting, says Martin Marty. But recent Pew research on the US situation suggests that there is such a big quantitative shift that it amounts to a change in the quality of commitments.
Why should religious people be involved in the climate change debate? The issue was tackled head-on at a side-meeting in Copenhagen, coinciding with the vital global talks on climate change action, says Mark Beach.
In his Nobel Peace Prize speech, President Obama deftly distanced himself and his office from pacifist traditions as a President with responsibilities consistent with empire must do, says Gene Stoltzfus. But the challenge of peacemaking goes deeper than political machinations.
The managing editor of Foreign Affairs magazine recently went to Damascus, where he interviewed President Bashar al-Assad. Ekklesia associate and regional expert Dr Harry Hagopian assesses where the president stands in the tragic and bloody mess that exists in Syria at the moment, where ordinary people are caught between competing barbarisms.
Action of the World Council of Churches more than four decades ago raised the profile of environmental issues, and in the process helping to galvanise the ecological movement in communist East Germany, says Ekklesia associate Dr Stephen Brown. This became the soil for the independent ecology groups in the 1980s as one of the forms of dissent that culminated in East Germany’s 1989 peaceful revolution.